The postpartum period refers to the first six weeks after childbirth. This is a joyous time, but it's also a period of adjustment and healing for mothers. During these weeks, you'll bond with your baby and you'll have a post-delivery checkup with your doctor
How can a mother adjust to this new phase of life?
By Adjusting to motherhood;
Adjusting to everyday life after the birth of a baby has its challenges, especially if you're a new mother. Although it's important to care for your baby, you also have to take care of yourself.
Most new mothers don't return to work for at least the first six weeks after birth. This allows time to adapt and develop a new normal. Since a baby has to be fed and changed often, you may experience sleepless nights. It can be frustrating and tiresome. The good news is that you'll eventually fall into a routine. In the meantime, here's what you can do for an easier transition:
1. Get plenty of rest - Get as much sleep as possible to cope with tiredness and fatigue. Your baby may wake up every two to three hours for feeding. To make sure you're getting enough rest, sleep when your baby sleeps which is often not possible
2. Seek help - Don't hesitate to accept help from family and friends during the postpartum period, as well as after this period. Your body needs to heal, and practical help around the home can help you get much-needed rest. Friends or family can prepare meals, run errands, or help care for other children in the home.
3. Eat healthy meals - Maintain a healthy diet to promote healing. Increase your intake of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and protein. You should also increase your fluid intake, especially if you are breast-feeding.
4. Exercise - Your doctor will let you know when it's OK to exercise. The activity should not be strenuous. Try taking a walk near your house. The change of scenery is refreshing and can increase your energy.
What are Baby blues ?
About 70 to 80 percent of new mothers experience mood swings or negative feelings after giving birth. Baby blues are caused by hormonal changes and symptoms may vary .
Postpartum depression occurs when symptoms last for more than two weeks.
Additional symptoms may include feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and loss of interest in daily activities. Some women with postpartum depression withdraw from their family, have no interest in their baby, and have thoughts of hurting their baby/or suicidal ideas.
Postpartum depression requires medical treatment. Speak with your doctor if you have depression that lasts longer than two weeks after giving birth, or if you have thoughts of harming your baby. Postpartum depression can develop at any time after giving birth, even up to a year after delivery.
When to see doctor?
Postpartum depression requires medical treatment. Speak with your doctor if you have depression that lasts longer than two weeks after giving birth, or if you have thoughts of harming your baby
What is vaginal soreness?
If you had an episiotomy or vaginal tear during delivery, the wound might hurt for a few weeks. Extensive tears might take longer to heal. In the meantime, you can help promote healing:
If sitting is uncomfortable, sit on a pillow .
Pour warm water over your vulva .. Press a clean pad or washcloth firmly against the wound when you bear down for a bowel movement.
Cool the wound with an ice pack.
Take pain relievers or stool softeners as recommended by your doctor.
While you're healing, expect the discomfort to slowly improve
How will be the Vaginal discharge?
You'll have a vaginal discharge (lochia) for a number of weeks after delivery. Expect a bright red, heavy flow of blood for the first few days. The discharge will gradually taper off, becoming watery and changing from pink or brown to yellow or white.
Contact your .doctor if:
You have heavy vaginal bleeding
The discharge has a foul odor
You have a fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
Will I have uterine Contractions after delivery?
You might feel contractions, sometimes called afterpains, during the first few days after delivery. These contractions - which often resemble menstrual cramps - help prevent excessive bleeding by compressing the blood vessels in the uterus.
Will I get Urination problems?
Swelling or bruising of the tissues surrounding the bladder and urethra can lead to difficulty urinating. Fearing the sting of urine on the tender perineal area can have the same effect. Difficulty urinating usually resolves on its own.
Contact your .doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of a urinary tract infection. For example:
A strong, persistent urge to urinate
A burning sensation when urinating
Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
Pregnancy and birth stretch the connective tissue at the base of the bladder and can cause nerve and muscle damage to the bladder or urethra. You might leak urine when you cough, strain or laugh. Fortunately, this problem usually improves with time. In the meantime, wear sanitary pads and do Kegel exercises to help tone your pelvic floor muscles.
What is kegel'sexercise?
To do Kegels, tighten your pelvic muscles as if you're stopping your stream of urine. Try it for five seconds at a time, four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.
How will be the Hemorrhoids and bowel movements after delivery?
If you notice pain during bowel movements and feel swelling near your anus, you might have hemorrhoids - stretched and swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum. To ease any discomfort while the hemorrhoids heal, soak in a warm tub .
If you find yourself avoiding bowel movements out of fear of hurting your perineum or aggravating the pain of hemorrhoids or your episiotomy wound, take steps to keep your stools soft and regular. Eat foods high in fiber - including fruits, vegetables and whole grains - and drink plenty of water. .
Another potential problem for new moms after a vaginal delivery is the inability to control bowel movements (fecal incontinence). Frequent Kegel exercises can help with mild fecal leakage.
What about Sore breasts and leaking milk?
Several days after delivery, your breasts might become firm, swollen and tender (engorgement). To ease discomfort, nurse, ., apply warm washcloths or take a warm shower to express milk. Between feedings, place cold washcloths or ice packs on your breasts. Over-the-counter pain relievers might help, too.
If you're not breast-feeding, wear a firm, supportive bra, such as a sports bra, to help stop milk production. Don't pump or rub your breasts, which will cause your breasts to produce more milk.
Will I have Hair loss and skin changes ?
During pregnancy, elevated hormone levels put normal hair loss on hold. After delivery, your body sheds the excess hair all at once. Hair loss typically stops within six months.
Stretch marks won't disappear after delivery, but eventually they'll fade from reddish purple to silver or white. Expect any skin that darkened during pregnancy - such as the line down your abdomen (linea nigra) - to slowly fade as well.
Will I have Mood changes?
Childbirth triggers a jumble of powerful emotions. Mood swings, irritability, sadness and anxiety are common. Many new moms experience a mild depression, sometimes called the baby blues. The baby blues typically subside within a week or two. In the meantime, take good care of yourself. Share your feelings, and ask your partner, loved ones or friends for help. If your depression deepens or you feel hopeless and sad most of the time, contact .doctor. Prompt treatment is important.
Will I face Backache after delivery?
This may persist after the birth and affects approximately a third of women.
Pain may be considerable and last for several months - occasionally much longer.
What about my old medications for other medical conditions?
Pregnancy does a lot of changes to your body and your body's mechanism.
so it is always advised to talk to your obstetrician and your physician about all your doubts .somedrugs need the dosage to be increased ,some has to be given in lesser dose.
What should be the diet after delivery?
After your delivery it is natural for you to focus all your attention on your newborn baby. But try to look after yourself as well by paying attention to your diet.
Eating right can go a long way in helping you get back your strength and energy. After all, your baby needs a strong and healthy mum. And if you are breastfeeding, what you eat passes on to your baby through your milk. So all the more reason to eat well!
Traditionally, during confinement, women have been given high-calorie food like full cream milk, butter, ghee, dried fruits and sugar. While you do need extra calories if you are breastfeeding, you can get the vital nutrients in a way that doesn't necessarily mean piling on fat as well.
You can talk to your doctor/nutritionist about the diet at the time of discharge which is healthy for you and your littleone
How to plan forWeight loss?
After you give birth, you'll probably feel out of shape. You might even look like you're still pregnant. This is normal. Most women lose more than 10 pounds during birth, including the weight of the baby, placenta and amniotic fluid. In the days after delivery, you'll lose additional weight from leftover fluids. After that, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you gradually return to your pre-pregnancy weight.
What is Postpartum bleeding /haemorrhage?
Primary postpartum haemorrhage is defined as loss of more than 500 ml of blood during the first 24 hours
Secondary postpartum haemorrhage is abnormal bleeding after 24 hours up until six weeks postpartum:
What is Puerperal fever/ pyrexia?
Puerperal pyrexia is defined as temperature 38°C or above during the first 14 days after delivery.
It remains an important cause of maternal death.
Most cases are due to anaerobic streptococci that normally inhabit the vagina. Initially, they infect the placental bed and then spread .to uterine cavity to the Fallopian tubes and, occasionally, the pelvis
Alternatively, there may be breast infection or urinary tract infection.
What to expect in postpartum checkup?
About six weeks after delivery, your .doctor will check your vagina, cervix and uterus to make sure you're healing well. This is a great time to talk about resuming sexual activity, birth control, breast-feeding and how you're adjusting to life with a new baby. You might also ask about Kegel exercises to help tone your pelvic floor muscles.
Above all, share any concerns you might have about your physical or emotional health. Chances are, what you're feeling is entirely normal. Look to .your doctor for assurance as you enter this new phase of life.
What are the Benefits of exercise after pregnancy?
Regular exercise after pregnancy can:
Promote weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake
Improve your cardiovascular fitness
Strengthen and tone abdominal muscles
Boost your energy level
Promote better sleep
Better yet, including physical activity in your daily routine helps you set a positive example for your child now and in the years to come.
Before starting take advise from your doctor.
When to think of sexual life after delivery?
Pelvic rest means refraining from all types of sex.
You shouldn't have sex for the first 6 weeks postpartum, but after 6 weeks you're "good to go." Provided your doctor says its ok.
Is breast feeding important?
Breast-feeding .is strongly encouraged (first-time mothers may need a lot of support and encouragement initially).
What are the advantages of Breast-feeding ?
It has many advantages, including:
Initial breast engorgement may cause a lot of discomfort but is usually relieved by good bra support and analgesia.
Women who are unable to breast-feed or prefer to bottle-feed also need support and advice.
It is free and available without preparation.
Boosting the baby's immunity to infection, particularly respiratory tract infections and gastroenteritis, with a consequent reduction in hospitalisations.
Reducing risk of cot death.
Promoting bonding between the mother and her baby.
Protection against later risks of being overweight and obese.
Reduction in breast and ovarian cancer and diabetes in the mother.
What is postpartum contraception?
Combined hormonal contraceptive (CHC) methods (pill, vaginal ring or patch) should not be started before 21 days, due to the increased risk of thromboembolism in the immediate postpartum period.
The copper intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) and the intrauterine system (IUS), unless fitted within 48 hours of delivery
Sterilisation is usually delayed until at least six weeks post-delivery.if not desiring future childbirth
Fertility awareness methods
The lactational amenorrhoea method is 98% effective
Barrier methods like condoms
Injections and implants
Whatsoever ur doctor will advise you about all the available options and the right one for you after discussing merits and demerits with you and your partner.single method cannot be applied to all mothers.
WHAT IS KANGAROO mother care? Skin-to-Skin Care?
We encourage you to hold your newborn baby naked (except for a diaper) on your own skin, with a blanket covering you both, during your awake and alert times. Babies who are frequently held "skin to skin" are:
More likely to latch onto the breast and to breastfeed easily
Have more stable and normal skin temperatures, heart rates, and blood pressure
Have better blood sugars
Are less likely to cry
Promotes emotional bonding
Any self medication/traditional methods to boost growth or immunity for newborn can be followed?
Strictly not advised..nothing apart from breast milk. not even water /honey.Only medications to be given as advised by the paediatrician/neonatologist.
Any vaccination for baby ?
Yes as advised by the paediatrician/neonatologist.
He/she will give you a vaccination card and you just need to follow the same instructions.
When will be the follow up visit for my baby?
As advised by your paediatrician/neonatologist.